Teen e-cigarette use has doubled within past two years, new research shows

The number of kids vaping nicotine has doubled in the past two years, according to research published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Experts in substance abuse say the new statistics make it clear that vaping is a public health crisis.

“These products introduce the highly addictive chemical nicotine to these young people and their developing brains, and I fear we are only beginning to learn the possible health risks and outcomes for youth,” Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said in a statement.

The new study looked at data from the 2019 Monitoring the Future Survey of 42,531 students in 8th, 10th and 12th grade. It’s an annual report conducted by the University of Michigan on NIDA’s behalf.

Researchers found “significant increases” in the numbers of young people using e-cigarettes. Between 2017 and 2019, rates of vaping more than doubled in each of the three grade levels surveyed.

More than 25 percent of high school seniors and more than 20 percent of high school sophomores said they’d vaped within the past month. And one in 11 kids in the 8th grade admitted to vaping as well.

“Parents with school-aged children should begin paying close attention to these devices, which can look like simple flash drives, and frequently come in flavors that are appealing to youth,” lead study author Richard Miech, a research professor at the University of Michigan, said in a statement.

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